Join Us

AISGW is an association of independent schools educating students from nursery school through high school in the greater Washington, DC region.

Here’s what members are saying about their experience with our association:

“AISGW has clearly made community, advocacy, and member services a priority and is extremely ‘school-focused.’”

“As a new head of a small school, I find the connections I make as part of a local association particularly helpful.”

“AISGW puts a great emphasis on creating forums for heads of schools to interact in an effort to advance independent education for everyone.”

   Why Become a Member

Community Connections

  • Strong sense of community developed by engaging with the best leaders in the capital region who share a collective goal of advancing non-profit independent schools
  • Collaborative spirit that connects members with each other and with a wide range of regional and national independent school organizations such as AIMS and VAIS, NAIS, the National Business Officers Association, the National Coalition for Girls’ Schools, and the Enrollment Management Association (SSATB), among others
  • Opportunity to develop and foster strong and meaningful connections not available through larger national and other regional organizations

Resources and Services

  • Subscription to the Association’s e-bulletin AISGW Intel and access to a rich set of professional resources accessed through its website’s Members’ portal
  • Access to tailored consulting services from the Association’s Executive Director related to trends in independent schools, school governance, strategic planning, head searches and transitions, and parent relations, among other topics
  • Guidance for school management and decision-making provided through the Association’s Principles of Good Practice and interpretation of those principles by Association staff

Professional Development

  • Access to approximately 25 local, in-person networking and professional development events annually for school leaders and educators 
  • Invitation to attend the annual overnight conference and retreat for school heads, along with approximately five additional events tailored specifically to heads of school
  • For school trustees, division leaders, admission professionals, advancement professionals, business officers, and classroom teachers, opportunity to benefit from programs focused on leadership, governance, diversity, marketing, and other timely topics in education and school management

Advocacy for Schools

  • Advocacy for all member schools with growing visibility and effectiveness in Washington, D.C. and Montgomery County, Maryland
  • Establishment of relationships with local government decision-makers that produce strong results when responding to issues that are critical to school operations
  • Representation of local independent school interests in response to issues that arise on a national level as well as providing updates about significant local and national regulatory and legislative developments

Data Collection and Analysis

  • Tailored local, regional, and national data benchmarking capabilities and custom reporting to assist with tuition, budget, and staffing decisions through the use of NAIS’s Data Analysis for School Leadership (DASL) platform
  • Customized support and professional development opportunities for business officers and other school leaders about DASL operations and capabilities

Enhanced Visibility

  • Link and reference to your school on the AISGW website, an important resource about independent schools in the greater Washington, DC area, along with opportunity to submit news articles and photos for inclusion on the site
  • When appropriate, mention in AISGW electronic newsletter and AISGW social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter as well as ability to post information about professional learning events

Community Listserv

  • Access to over 20 communication Listservs covering a broad and flexible set of constituencies
  • Ability to initiate and participate in candid and informative discussions about a wide range of school-related issues

Collaborative Projects and Resources

  • Access to collaborative projects and resources such as the Common Recommendation Form for admission and the opportunity to contribute to standards and guidelines developed by the  Association

Members-Only Job Bank

  • Use of members-only Career Center that allows member schools to post job openings and career-seekers to post resumes and cover letters

Reduction in Costs of School Operations

  • Cost savings through participation in various purchasing consortia offered by the Association
  • Preferred pricing and access to professional organizations that serve independent schools resulting from the Association’s corporate partnerships

   How to Become a Member

Full Membership

AISGW schools:

  • Are non-profit and meet the criteria of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code
  • Have independent boards of trustees
  • Have a primarily academic character
  • Are accredited by such agencies as the Virginia Association of Independent Schools, the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools, the Association of Independent Schools of Maryland, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, or other agencies approved by AISGW
  • Have nondiscrimination policies in admissions and hiring
  • Have audited financial statements
  • Have been in operation for thirty-six consecutive months

Provisional Membership

Schools with provisional AISGW membership:

  • Fulfill the criteria for Full Membership but have been in operation for at least the previous twelve months
  • If unaccredited, provisional members will be granted three years to start the accreditation process and five years to complete it

Application Process

  1. A school interested in applying for membership to AISGW should complete a membership application. The application includes a list of supplemental materials which should be submitted with the application.
  2. AISGW’s executive director will arrange a time to visit the school when it is in session, to observe classrooms, meet with senior staff, and answer questions about membership.
  3. Two members of AISGW’s Membership Committee then conduct similar visits.
  4. AISGW’s board of trustees votes on the application.

Member Dues

Each AISGW member school pays a base fee, which varies by enrollment, plus a standard per-student charge. Regardless of enrollment, no school pays more than 70 percent of its highest tuition.

Membership Application

Click here to fill out an application for membership.